November has arrived.  With it comes the beginning of the holiday season.  A time that I’ll admit is a difficult time for me to muddle through.  On one hand, it’s a break from teaching.  On the other hand, it’s the start of a time when families gather and expectations are high for happy times.  It’s a beautiful time of year.

I was that person that couldn’t wait for the holidays to get here.  I was ignorant of the pain the holidays brought to people who had lost love ones or was going through difficult times.  In fact, I don’t think I even noticed them.  Now, I am one of them and am very aware of how empty the holidays can make a person feel.  Yet, I also know that it’s important to find purpose in my days.  I have moved passed the point where I wallow in emotion and think of only myself.   This is the year I find purposeful things to fill my time with.  Hopefully by putting others first I become less important.  This year, I am happily cooking Thanksgiving dinner and looking forward to family joining me.

Today, I walked through Michaels and Christmas shouted from half the store with Christmas colors, trees, lights, and all the rest of the sparkle.  I’m drawn to the beautiful decorations.  I used to decorate the house as much as I could and John would decorate the yard and put lights on the house, but now, when I put up a tree, I’m happy.  We would always put up the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving night.  When Cam was little we would take videos of us decorating.  I remember the year that Cam took over the filming.  We laughed at all the strange angles and his comments.  My future grand-kids are so going to enjoy watching those!

It’s a time for new traditions and remembering the sweet memories of the past.  I miss John.  Cam and I may never feel completely whole, but we have weathered the storm, picked up the debris, have rebuilt our lives the best we can.  I’m smiling now, even as I’m preparing to remember John’s birthday tomorrow.  I thank God that He has blessed us in so many ways.  I am thankful for so many beautiful memories.  I am thankful for the ability to see that I do have a future that is filled with a purpose.

I will forever be aware that the holiday season is not always a time of happiness.  I know I’m not the only person that is missing loved ones.  I ask you to pray for people you may know that will need to be lifted up during these months.  I’m sure that I will have days that I will struggle through, but I will have many more positive days where I smile and will feel blessed.   I thank you, Lord, for continued healing of my heart.